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clementine

First bad college grade - ugh. Little update.

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I posted in a different thread, but knew I'd get more advice with it's own post.  


 


Well, we have a first at our house.  Grades are in....4 A's and an F.   :ohmy:  She hasn't told me yet, I have access to her grades, but I always let her tell me how she did on her own.  This was her sophomore year, she had a 3.49 before this last semester started.  


 


I am sad for her, I know she must be extremely nervous to tell us.  I know it's not the end of the world, it's a higher level math class - she thought she wanted to minor in math....I think that might change after this.  


 


If any of you have had a child fail a college course, chime in with 'It'll be ok." advice.  I've got different emotions going thru me....


Edited by clementine

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I haven't been the parent, just the kid - I failed the same class twice!  I didn' actually tell my parents, I just arranged to make up the credits myself.

 

It made it clear to me that I probably wasn't cuut out for grad work in that subject, but otherwise really has had zero effct on my life.

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:grouphug:

 

If it's any comfort, I don't think the F is going to affect her GPA as much as you might think. Three semesters at (an average of) 3.49 plus one semester at 3.2 equals a 2 year GPA of 3.42.

 

Will she need to repeat the course? Do you know if the university will drop the F from the GPA if it's replaced by a higher grade?

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Absolutely will be fine. I was that kid and had to retake 2 classes (one had a D, the other an F). Other than being a great story to tell my kids (hey kids, it's not the end of the world--it happens!), it's not affected me one bit. 

 

I also keep up on my kids' grades, and I saw at midterm that one wasn't going well--I talked to DS about the options to bring it up to at least a C or drop it, and he ended up dropping it in time. Again, definitely not the end of the world. Just not his cuppa. He also had A's in all his other classes, and for a bit felt like that one bad grade overshadowed everything--sometimes kids need our help to focus on what went WELL. So if she's getting hung up on that, help her realize, hey, she did some AWESOME work in her other classes!

 

Mistakes and failures come in life--how we respond is what's important.

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:grouphug:

 

If it's any comfort, I don't think the F is going to affect her GPA as much as you might think. Three semesters at (an average of) 3.49 plus one semester at 3.2 equals a 2 year GPA of 3.42.

 

Will she need to repeat the course? Do you know if the university will drop the F from the GPA if it's replaced by a higher grade?

 

She will not need to repeat if she decides not to pursue the minor.  The grade will remain on the transcript, but the higher grade would be put in place of it in the GPA calculation if she does retake.  

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Absolutely will be fine. I was that kid and had to retake 2 classes (one had a D, the other an F). Other than being a great story to tell my kids (hey kids, it's not the end of the world--it happens!), it's not affected me one bit. 

 

I also keep up on my kids' grades, and I saw at midterm that one wasn't going well--I talked to DS about the options to bring it up to at least a C or drop it, and he ended up dropping it in time. Again, definitely not the end of the world. Just not his cuppa. He also had A's in all his other classes, and for a bit felt like that one bad grade overshadowed everything--sometimes kids need our help to focus on what went WELL. So if she's getting hung up on that, help her realize, hey, she did some AWESOME work in her other classes!

 

Mistakes and failures come in life--how we respond is what's important.

 

Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that.  Thank you soooo much!!

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It'll be okay. 

 

My Dh failed ever other year of college for 6, or was it 7 years. I forget the details, but he tried several different majors, and would be put on academic warning ever other year. He never finished any degree, including his 2 year computers degree, which is the program he really liked. He has always been well employed in his field of choice, computers. 

 

His friend spent 7 years taking the same 2 year program before he passed all the classes in it. He has also been well employed his whole life. 

 

Note I'm not talking about classes, but somehow failing whole years of semesters. 

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One of my former students, who landed a job at Goldman Sachs, always likes to tell the story of how he failed a class in college whenever he comes back to talk to current students.

 

At one school where I taught, it was actually advantageous to get an F rather than a D.  If a student repeated the class, the new grade replaced the F in the GPA calculation.  Repeating the class resulted in the two grades being averaged in the GPA if a student repeated the course.  

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It'll be okay. 

 

My Dh failed ever other year of college for 6, or was it 7 years. I forget the details, but he tried several different majors, and would be put on academic warning ever other year. He never finished any degree, including his 2 year computers degree, which is the program he really liked. He has always been well employed in his field of choice, computers. 

 

His friend spent 7 years taking the same 2 year program before he passed all the classes in it. He has also been well employed his whole life. 

 

Note I'm not talking about classes, but somehow failing whole years of semesters. 

 

Wow - kudos for perserverance!!! I know she'll be fine, it's just a 'new experience', lol.  Thank you for sharing :)

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It will be fine.  My oldest just graduated last year.   She completed her degree with two minors in just 4 years despite dropping a few classes and having to repeat at least one.  

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I don't have a kid story but a sibling story that should encourage you. My sister for whatever reason did not take any foreign language in high school. It was the early 80s so it was not the same intensive "what to take to get to college" experience that is now, and besides she just wanted to take fun art classes:-)

 

So at the university, she started at the beginning with Spanish 1. Except that everyone else in the class had had a couple of years of Spanish in high school and only took Spanish 1 for an easy A. Since most of the class could move quickly, the instructor did. My sister struggled mightily and either failed or nearly failed that first class, and the next class or two in the sequence. The instructor even told her she wasn't cut out for studying languages and she should change to a major that did not require it. 

 

Stuff like this just makes my sister mad, so she persevered through the two years of Spanish that were required. At that point, she decided that since she had worked so hard she might as well major in Spanish. And study abroad. She spent her junior year in Spain and certainly learned Spanish then--she's remained fluent, married a Puerto Rican man and has taught high school Spanish for the last 10 years.

 

So sometimes even a failed class can be life-changing!

 

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:grouphug:

 

Yeah, I was in a similar situation in college.  No biggie.  Seriously.  I did shift out of the minor I was trying for but found that I had enough credits to get a different minor.  It ended up not mattering at all, not one iota.  I stumbled onto a career I hadn't even had on my radar while trying out a different route and did well.  No issues.

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I posted in a different thread, but knew I'd get more advice with it's own post.  

 

Well, we have a first at our house.  Grades are in....4 A's and an F.   :ohmy:  She hasn't told me yet, I have access to her grades, but I always let her tell me how she did on her own.  This was her sophomore year, she had a 3.49 before this last semester started.  

 

I am sad for her, I know she must be extremely nervous to tell us.  I know it's not the end of the world, it's a higher level math class - she thought she wanted to minor in math....I think that might change after this.  

 

If any of you have had a child fail a college course, chime in with 'It'll be ok." advice.  I've got different emotions going thru me....

 

 

I failed a college course.  Second semester electrical engineering.  Not required for my degree, but a core requirement for graduation (my school had a strong STEM core, so I have a Bachelor of Science in English).

 

I had the option of retaking the course over the summer as an intensive summer school class or retaking it in the fall.  I did the full semester course.  I think the school averaged the grades for the gpa (rather than replacing one).  I would have had a better grade if I'd done the summer course, because that is all I would have studied, and the summer course was very hands on.  Most people got an A on the retake.  I think I fought for a C in the semester redo.

 

Not all college classes are equal.  Math and science can be real humdingers.  For other kids, a literature class that requires a new novel and a new paper every single week can be overwhelming.  It's not the end of the world.  She can adjust her plans, retake the class or take a different course that fills the same major requirement.  

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Oh, goodness, it will be fine.

 

I failed a class for my major and had to drop it and re-take it.  The class?  PE Methods.  It was like the easiest class in my major.  I just blew it. 

 

My DH, who is now a mechanical engineer, failed multiple math classes.  He had to re-take one like 3 times. 

 

I think it's actually pretty unusual for people to NOT screw up at least one class. 

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You guys.... I love you all. Seriously.

 

I will wait for her to come to us, but my mindset is completely different than if I was in the dark.

 

I so appreciate all of your replies! I will have a much better mom-reaction after reading them.

 

Thank you!!

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My b-i-l got a D or an F in a math class, can't quite remember. He still got his physics major and has been a working physicist for many years, so it doesn't even mean that she shouldn't minor or even major in math. 

 

You can't always tell that things are going to end badly in time to drop the class, especially in classes where the final is a huge chunk of the grade. 

 

When she tells you, tell her in return, "Congratulations! You now know you can fail a class and survive."  :laugh:

Edited by katilac
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For the record, my freshman year GPA was less than 1.0. I'm sure it did hold me back some, but I made it through a doctoral degree when I went back. 

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I failed most of a semester when DD was born (she was born in early summer, and I just thought it would be no big deal to continue my normal courseload the next semester).  I think it ended up being a C, a D, an incomplete, and an F.  Made no difference in the end - they were not classes I needed to graduate (other than the C, which I did actually go to sometimes in order to get the C and not have to retake).  

 

I never told my parents a single grade one way or another and I have no idea how they would have known without my consent.

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My only advice is one needs to know when you are over your head in a course and learn to bail from that class before the W deadline (personal lesson-learned from back in the day).

 

I made the same mistake your student did.

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I had to retake 2 classes, one because I was planning my wedding and taking a full load and something had to give.  The other was just a difficult class with a difficult professor.  I took it the second time with a different professor and it was much easier the second time.  

 

If she really wants to minor in math encourage her to not let this 1 failure stand in her way.  Some things are just hard but worth getting through anyway.

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I would spin this as a learning experience for her.  I'm assuming there is a very good story behind this, given her otherwise stellar gpa.  If anyone asks, tell her to own the F, be loud and proud and articulate what she learned from the experience.  

 

"We learn more from failure than success."  

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My kid got an F his first semester, and it was a 5 credit course.

 

He took the class again the following year, absolutely dreading it. I convinced him that he really needed to do this for his GPA. That time, he got an A. While the F stays on his record, at least it's replaced with an A for his GPA. He's very glad that he did.

 

Your daughter will be fine. I think it's great that you haven't freaked out about it (at least as far as she knows ;) ). It sounds like you're very supportive, and that might be the very best thing right now.

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And here's a favorite quote: Failure is an event, not a person.

 

OMG, I LOVE that quote.   I went and looked up who said that so I could send it to several people I know.  Thank You!

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clementine, I am sorry that you and your daughter have to go through this - but somehow the thread has turned into one of the most inspiring threads I have read on this subforum. I appreciate all of you sharing your stories with clementine and the rest of us.

 

 

 

Edited by Penguin
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My DD had to retake Chemistry. The original grade stayed on her transcript but was replaced.  However, her GPA suffered dramatically until the course was retaken. It was awful. She lost a scholarship and had to explain the grade during an internship interview.  Even after busting her butt for three more semesters, it was only when she retook the course and earned a higher grade that she saw a change in her GPA. 

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My only advice is one needs to know when you are over your head in a course and learn to bail from that class before the W deadline (personal lesson-learned from back in the day).

 

I made the same mistake your student did.

Yes!

 

One of my classes in the semester I failed was one that I would have either failed or taken an incomplete/withdrawal on anyway, as it was waaaaaay over my head.  I think it was called History of the Book; it was about the development of self-conception through the writings of Montaigne, Shakespeare (Hamlet), etc.  I say etc. because I only read the Montaigne and Shakespeare.  The rest was esoteric and much harder.  I signed up because it was given at the right time of day.

 

not my best hour.

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Update:

 

Well, there were tears (hers, lol) as she told me.  She still got a 3.29 for the semester, so her total GPA went down by about .1 - not bad at all.  She thanked me for being so calm and understanding....little did she know I had days to prepare and an army of people reassuring me.  

 

Thank you again!!

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I got an F in second semester Organic Chemistry. This followed a C in first semester Organic Chemistry. I skipped most of the labs because of pregnancy and couldn't drop the class by the time I knew that 1. I was pregnant and didn't want to be in lab around the chemicals, and 2. I was even more hopelessly lost than in the first semester class, but I couldn't drop it because I'd lose the GI Bill if I did and be up a creek with no paddle financially for the semester.

 

I took a year off school for DD, we moved to another state, and I started at a different university, switched majors from Biology to Anthropology and graduated Summa Cum Laude (grades didn't transfer, just credits). 

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And here's a favorite quote: Failure is an event, not a person.

 

This!!! 

 

DH failed an advanced Calc class in his Engineering program and worked his butt off to pass the second time around,. 

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